To answer this question, lets go back to a few basic elements. Search engine optimization, simply put, is the on page and off page elements that help search engines not only find your website but to know what it is about, who needs to see it, and when. Your website on the other hand solely exists with the purpose of converting traffic (human traffic) into customers. These two elements have different audiences but both work hand and hand with ranking factors. Having an excellent optimization strategy that sends traffic to a website that is not user friendly and outdated is a sure way for that customer to leave your site. At the end of the day, you must remember that search engines have customers they must keep happy just as your business does. If their customers are not finding the quality content they are searching for, they will find another source, so why wouldn’t user experience be important!
As search engines get smarter, they focus more and more to how people respond and interact with your website rather than just your SEO strategies. The user experience of your website works with optimization strategies and one can no longer succeed without the success of the other. Your website should be optimized for both search engines and humans. If your website creates an atmosphere and a full experience, people will spend more time on site, view more pages, return to your site in the future, and eventually become a converting customer.
To further express the importance of this, I’ll give you an analogy. Imagine you spend thousands of dollars getting people into your store, but when customers arrive, they are met with salesmen that are rude, unorganized, and cannot provide any information. If that customer doesn’t leave immediately, they for sure will not be returning as they had a negative experience and will tell everyone they know not to go there also. Do you see where I’m going with this? Your website is your number one salesman – the one that never takes a sick day, never goes home and represents your brand the exact way you want it displayed.
So how exactly do you provide a great user experience? We recommend the following tips as a good starting place.
Start by monitoring your website analytics. If you have not already set up and implemented Google Analytics, you are missing out on a data mine. It is a free tool and will tell you where your website is falling short. Monitor elements such as bounce rate, time spent on site, page views, exit pages, site performance (load speed for example) etc.
Mobile Responsive Website.
Mobile use is still on the up rise and will continue to surpass desktop use year over year. If your website is not mobile friendly, neither is your overall experience.
Clear Call To Actions
A call to action is exactly what it says, it’s a visual element that draws your attention and requests an action. Call to actions help users navigate to parts of their site they are interested in, reducing the amount of clicks they took to get there. We live in a time sensitive world – people want their information now so the quicker you get them there, the better. Be clear about where each item on your site is taking you.
These are only a few of the many elements that factor into your overall user experience. If you would like a free website audit or would like a new website, Klout9 has a full website design and development team that can create a beautiful, responsive website with marketing and search engine in mind each step of the way.